I still believe in postal carriers

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By W.B. Evans

I’ve always wondered if Benjamin Franklin got the idea for the postal service after his kite got hit by that lightning bolt.

Whatever the case, it was a good one.

Plenty of us regularly e-mail our friends.

But I wonder, too, how much e-mail has impacted the postal service. If we weren’t communicating via e-mail, we might be sending more post cards.

I’m old enough to remember penny post cards, 3-cent stamps and those special six-centers for air mail delivery.

Along Chesterfield Avenue, the mailman came by twice each day.

The catalogs he delivered were my favorite, especially those from Western Auto and Sears, Roebuck & Co. They didn’t have my name on them, but boy, they sure captured my imagination. 

However, I wasn’t left out of personal correspondence. On Friday, little Bill got a picture post card. It was from my Sunday school teacher and was a gentle reminder of where I should be in two days.

Mama’s cousin worked for American Red Cross and she frequently sent post cards from places far away.

You know, there’s nothing quite like waiting on the mailman to deliver post cards mailed from exotic places like Paris, London and Rome. Cousin Jane was a real globetrotter. 

Lately, I had been spending plenty of time in a front porch rocking chair staring at the black mail box affixed to a square porch post and waiting.

Hey, I was expecting an important package.

My new membership card with the secret code on the back or a set of genuine silver bullets directly from the Lone Ranger Fan Club was due any day now.

The stuff I got from my best mail buddies – the cereal companies – for box tops I saved was OK, but a fella can only have so many secret decoder rings.

I guess my action heroes had to share decoder rings and codes amongst themselves to be on the same crime-fighting page.

You know, plenty of things have changed through the years, but waiting on the mailman never has.

Waiting for the mailman has been a life-long fixation for me.

The good old U.S. Mail served me on board troop ships, at military duty stations in Asia and here at home.

I still watch for my mailman (actually it’s a lady) who comes around as regular as a Timex watch six days a week.

These days I get bills, credit card offerings, auto warranty renewals and loads of sales papers instead of official Lone Ranger Six-Shooter Rings and deputy badges. 

My church sends me a schedule of upcoming activities, which reminds me of my Sunday school teacher of long ago.

You know, many have lost faith in our postal system, but I still believe in it.

I feel much safer paying bills through by mail than keying them into cyber space.

Postal rates increases aren’t something to dance in the middle of Charlotte Road about, but I understand it.

The price of everything else has gone up.

True to their unwavering commitment, the hardworking U.S. Mail Service employees still deliver in all sorts on inclement weather.

Benjamin Franklin would be proud; our mail lady even delivers oversized parcels to our door rather than leaving us a notice to get it the next day at the main post office.

My poor mail lady’s car has been rear-ended several times by careless drivers talking on cell phones and such.

Given that, it’s a wonder that her nerves aren’t shot. I’d wager that she gets as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs when motorists whizz  by her faster than “a fiery horse at the speed of light.”

Speaking of rocking chairs, I guess it’s about that time. Even though I don’t have a front porch to rock from, I think I’ll go outside and keep a look-out for the car with the blinking lights that always stays in the right lane.

You watch out for her, too. Some of us still depend on our mailman, uh, mail lady.